tv [untitled] May 9, 2011 1:00pm-1:30pm PDT
>> ok, everyone, but like to thank everyone for coming out this evening. this is a wonderful turnout. i especially would like to thank ucsf for letting us use this beautiful facility. i am honored that mayor ed lee is with us today. thank you, sir, for coming. [applause] i am equally honored to welcome department heads from some of our most important departments -- hint hint. i'm going to bother them up for all of us. it is also wonderful to see so many people from our communities here tonight. we are having this meeting because the city, as you know, faces a deficit of $300 million, and the mayor's predecessor requested that all agencies cut 10% from their budget and
prepare an additional 10% cut in their contingency. this means that agencies like department children and the families come upon a public health will have to spend a lot less money to do things that they want to do throughout the city. and to help us carry out the missions of many of the organizations that are in the room today. the goal tonight is to come up with our community priorities and a vision for the district as well as the city. i want to focus the conversation on city agencies that can fund cbo's rather than cut programs. i'm hopeful that with all the smart mines in this room, that we can collaborate on ways to find some savings. here are a couple of questions for you to think about -- are there programs that overlap?
are we still spending money on a program for problem that existed five years or 10 years ago that does not exist now? are there new approaches to old problems that can save money? are we spending money on temporary fixes without addressing the larger issue? i understand that no one wants to have their programs cut -- of course not. i also want everyone here to understand that no one of here wants to cut programs because they do not care about the population being served. there are no villains here. we are all on the same team. it is a tough situation, and we are here so that we can begin to work together. in about seven weeks, starting june 1, the mayor's office will come out with their budget. then, the board of supervisors will pick up the budget with the opportunity to make changes. i want this meeting tonight to be an important step in that process. as the mayor and budget director
speak, i would like everyone with a question to write it down so when it comes time for questions, you may ask them. we have cards that have different colors based on topics. please make sure that you include your name and contact information. when your done, and if you need another card, hold it up, and my staff will come by and help you. i would like to a college dan stein, who has been instrumental. -- i would like to acknowledge dan stein. megan. leslie. where is john? he is moving his car. well, he will be your. the colors will make sure we ask questions on different topics throughout the night, and we will know of any specific issues that are especially important. i will call on people to either come up to read their question, or if they prefer, i can read them.
we will try to get through these presentations quickly so that we have as much time as possible left for questions at the end. remember, we are all here to hear the voices in this room. i hope that we can find solutions to be very difficult situation, and again, i would like to thank everyone again for coming, and i would like to now turn things over to mayor ed lee. thank you. [applause] mayor lee: thank you. thank you, supervisor cohen, and thank all of you for welcoming us here to district tend to talk about our city-wide budget. i also want to recognize the department heads that are here today, joining here sitting in the front row as well as various commissioners. i know several of you out there are commissioners for the city, and i appreciate your time, being here tonight. also want to give a shout out to the office of civic engagement.
i know they are doing translation tonight as well, and that is exactly what we wanted that office to do when we put some funding to it. thank you very much for your team to be out here, making sure that people understand in all languages what we are trying to do with our budget. [applause] i'm not going to make a long speech for you. i'm here to listen and listen carefully to what people say are the priorities for the community. i also want to let you know that i will be working very closely with supervisor cohen. i'm excited about her leadership in the district. i have committed to working extremely closely with our supervisors, so please, listen to her. listen to us as we talk through what we have here in the next couple of weeks, departments will be coming out with their cuts -- at least their proposed cuts to the budget. we are building in a degree of flexibility, and part of that
flexibility is to listen carefully to what you have to say tonight. hopefully, as those cuts come out and the weeks in sioux -- ensue before the budget is due to the board for their decision making, that we have done our best to reflect some of the budget priorities, perhaps as many as we can, about what you're saying to us. as we hold these budget town halls throughout the city -- this is the third. i will be holding 10, just to make sure that we listen carefully to what the community has to say. that is my commitment. as many of you know, i am not running for mayor. i am running to listen to you and to make sure that i am as close to the community as possible. i will be here listening tonight as well. i have said very simply i want a budget, and i have said this to department heads, to commissioners, and i am saying it to every district, every community -- and i want the
budget to reflect a save san francisco, safe in the public safety since, save in a -- safe in the core level of essential services. i want the city to be solvent. it must have programs that we can afford to pay. that is why i am working hard on a parallel issue, which is reining in our pension costs, to make sure we have pension reform this year that will make sure we solve that problem so it never eats into our general fund. we want the city to be solvent. and we ultimately want to join you all tonight to make sure the city is successful. our city attracts you and so many other people to state and live here because we believe in the city. we believe in its multiculturalism. we believe in the neighborhoods , that it thrives, and that is what makes the city successful, but i want that city to continue being successful. with that, i am all ears
tonight, and you also have my heart open to the issues that you are struggling with because i know there is a lot of issues that people struggle with. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. ok, i'm just going to briefly go down the names of the attending agencies and their representatives. we have farber garcia, director of the form of public health. maybe just wave. that is very nice, but let's hold our applause. let's just hold our applause so we can get through the business of tonight. jim, deputy director of human resources. fred blackwell, director of redevelopment agency. we have jeff go down, sfpd. sonali bose, sfmta.
bob sitting in for phil ginsburg from iraq and park -- from rec adn park. -- rec and park. next up, we have greg wagner, who is going to be via a little bit on the budget. you can use that microphone right there. >> thank you very much, supervisor cohen. i wanted to set the stage by walking briefly through an overview of what our budget problem is, to set the stage for the conversation we are going to have and give a little bit of background on why we are all here tonight and what the challenges are that are facing
us collectively over the next three months as we need to balance our budget. so as you know, the city charter requires us to have a balanced budget every year. unlike the federal government, we cannot borrow money and operate at a deficit. this is an ironclad requirement. it requires us to ensure that our sources and the money coming into the city are equal to our users, and that is the expenditures we make. when we look ahead at next year, we do a projection of what our revenues look like and what our expenditures look like, and what we're seeing for next year is that we are going to have a little bit of good news on revenues -- about $37.7 million, but offsetting that is an expenditure growth. it is getting more expensive to operate our city at the same
level, and we're going to have about $344 million worth of cost increases. much of the do, as mayor lee noted, to increases in employee benefit costs. that will be one of the issues that i think we will all have to tackle over the next several months. the bottom line is that we have a $306 million deficit projected for the coming year. this is a little bit better than our starting point of $380 million that, some little bit of good news that we have been seeing out there in the economy, it looks like things are stabilizing a little bit. nonetheless, we still have a sizable challenge remaining to get our budget into balance. as i said, we are seeing some glimmers of hope that the economy is beginning to stabilize over the last several years, we have had declines in
revenue. just as the economy affects all of us personally, it affects the city's finances. we are starting to see things come back a little bit, but we are projecting a slow and steady recovery over the next several years. one of the very early stages of that -- we are in the very early stages of that recovery. even while our local tax revenues are recovering, we are taking significant cuts in funding from the state and federal government. last year, we were able to protect a lot of services by using about $120 million of federal revenue have our health department, the human services agency. those funds have gone away this year, so that leaves us with a gap that we need to make up. again, our cost growth -- we have among our wages, pension
costs and health care -- we have over $100 million worth of growth in those expenses alone. and the other costs of doing business for the city are increasing at the same time. the mayor, under the city charter, is required to balance that gap by june 1 and submit a proposed balanced budget to the board of supervisors, who will then take up the budget and make adjustments to the mayor of's proposal -- the mayor's proposal, said that is the task before us over the next couple of weeks. one of the things i hear from folks often is that san francisco has a $6.5 billion budget. why is a $305 million deficit such a problem? the main reason for that is that there are different categories within the city budget. the biggest division in the city budget is the distinction between what is in the general fund and what is outside the general fund.
the general fund is the part of the city budget that comes from our tax dollars, property taxes, sales taxes, business taxes, and it pays for a lot of services we need to provide that do not generate their own revenue. it pays for the services of a lot of the department's sitting here. -- a lot of the departments sitting here. on the non-general fund side, we have apartments that bring in their own revenues, and a lot of those are facing financial challenges as well, but they have their own budgets to balance outside of the general fund. mta is an example of one of those departments. about $3 billion of our $6.5 billion budget is in the general fund. $300 million deficit starts to sound a little bit bigger. even within that $3 billion of general fund, we have a lot of restrictions on what options are available to us.
we are legally obligated to pay our pension and benefit costs. we have voter-approved requirements that under the charter require us to spend a certain amount of money on particular types of services, and all those various requirements eat away at our flexibility within that $3 billion, and at the end of the day, we only have about $1.2 billion or $1.3 billion roughly in the neighborhood that is truly flexible, discretionary general fund that we can use to balance the budget. our $300 million deficit, from that perspective, feels much more significant. it is about 1/4 of our flexible general fund, and that is the challenge that we have to deal with and the reason we are here tonight. as i said, within our general fund, the biggest departments that make up about 75% of our flexible general fund are our
core city functions -- public safety, police, sheriffs, and the fire departments. and then our core county functions, which are the human services agency and the health department. those are the departments, the parts of our city that have the biggest share of our general fund dollars, closely following on the list are dcyf, the rec and park department, and others. as supervisor cohen said, we have asked our departments to propose 10% reductions to their general fund support an additional 10% contingency to put ideas on the table, to think about how we are going to be able to close this deficit. we are in the process right now of looking at those ideas and thinking them through. as the mayor said, we want to hear your thoughts about these ideas as we are in our decision making process.
just to kind of put the challenge in perspective, if we took the full 20% from every department and said we were going to put that in our budget, that would only save us about $180 million from this point forward. we are working on other solutions, but the point of this is to illustrate the challenge in front of us and the reason we are having discussions that we have to have tonight to balance our deficit. another point is that going forward, there is not that much improvement on the horizon, and our projections show we will have some difficult budget challenges ahead, so we need to get ahead of the game and try to address our structural costs earlier so that we are not going through this cycle every year, year after year. projections for the following year are about $480 million. after that, $642 million.
if we do make strategic choices and make disciplined choices about how we are going to balance the budget this year, we can chip those future years down. as the mayor said, one of the critical thing is we need to think about is our discussions on pension reform and how those can be used to bring our costs back in line in future years, so we are working very intensely on that process and trying to figure out how we can move forward on that. i do not need to cover this again, but as the mayor said, we are spending a lot of time talking to a lot of communities and stakeholders about how we approach this. i very much look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we tackle this, so thank you very much. >> -- supervisor cohen: ok,
thank you, greg. i also want to acknowledge linda young, the cfo and deputy city administrator. is she? ok, thanks, linda. also, supervisor carmen chu is here. she is chair of the budget committee. stand up so everyone can see you. [applause] . thanks, gregg, for that presentation. over the last few weeks, i set up meetings with the community- based organizations in the district with the head of the agencies that fund them. departments -- part of children, youth, and families and to cover the public health as well as human services agencies. these meetings were a good opportunity for our organization heads to speak directly with these agencies about what they are seeing and hearing on the ground in the district. i would like to ask a representative from each meeting group to come up and talk about what we discussed. first up, we have the executive
director of young community developers to talk about what transpired in the dcyf meeting. >> [inaudible] supervisor cohen: turn your microphone on me -- turn your microphone on for me. thanks. >> well i will talk loud. [laughter] [inaudible] 1 of the things i do, just to put a little perspective -- i spent a couple of years working with the department of children, youth, and their families, and one of the things we had to do over those couple of years, unfortunately, was make a lot of budget reductions to programs throughout the city. i definitely know the task that you all have a head. i sympathize with you. i have been in your seat, but i also put that perspective in place so you can understand you
should listen to what i have to say because i have been in your place. in all seriousness, i have asked to recap the conversation we had on march 17 with department of children, youth, and their families director, supervisor cohen, and a lot of district 10 cbo's pier that was an open forum for us to start talking about budget priorities and the results of some of the cuts that may happen and the prospective cuts we would incur. in the dialogue, we know we suffer from violence issues and people feeling unsafe in our district. we also know that funding is dwindling each year, so we have to figure out a way to make sure we can continue to provide the best services for the community with the fact that dollars are dwindling its funding reductions are occurring year after year.
so the four things that were identified out of the meeting, and this is the recap from the notes that were provided from our supervisor's office, is the need to preserve and enhance specialized team and after- school programs geared again, summer is on the way. we talk about violence prevention, violence reduction, and safety. we need to talk about programs saying funded and that there is something for our use in these communities to do -- our youth in these communities to do. that just gives you an example of the fact that these dollars are dwindling. if we lose those, just imagine how many people we are putting out on the street not having access to programs. the other -- the second thing we talked about is the need to preserve and enhance youth development and employment opportunities. our youth need jobs. our adults need jobs.
we know about the high unemployment rate, particularly in district 10, so we need to make sure we prioritize programs that can get our youth working in increase these lots that are available. to the real years ago, there were over 10,000 specialists lots for youth. now, we are talking less than a few hundred. that is a big decrease. providing dollars to make sure that we are able to keep young people and people employed are definitely heinie. then, the need to reallocate funding to incarcerate. instead of incarcerate, use those funds for prevention services. we know that we are providing services for prevention, that we can actually keep people from being involved in the system. we know the amount of money we spend to incarcerate. and the last thing -- our supervisor is giving me the key to speed up -- is preserved and enhanced funding for family services.
folks cannot go to work if they do not have adequate child care. we need to make sure we work on the programs and continue to provide services so that folks can receive child care. truancy prevention is used. thank you for the opportunity. [applause] supervisor cohen: all right, our next presenter who is going to present very briefly is the executive director of the bayview hunters point foundation. he is going to talk about keeping waste from the department of public health meeting. i also want to acknowledge barbara garcia. i do not think i acknowledge her. she is here at the table. >> good evening. our meeting was a public health meeting and represent some but not all of the providers in
district 10 that are funded by the department of public health. our conversation focused on a public health approach, which is moving not just individuals but entire communities to health and wholeness. we came up with priorities that kind of look like this. we wanted a budget that supported coordination among and between all providers across funding, program, and department silos. we wanted budgeting that would help in the development of social capital. we wanted to see budgets that promoted prevention, which includes access to healthy foods and folks actually purchasing them and eating them, access to safe exercise, and people actually exercising and enjoying the benefits of a, and supporting programs that improve personal habits. of our health status, only about
10% is because we go to the doctor. id% is what we do, our own personal habits. finally, we looked at some key health issues in district 10 that we thought were important to be looked at in the context of the items i just mentioned. that is trauma and stress -- ongoing traumatic stress, posttraumatic stress, and in a recent training on african- american health, we had -- that the department sponsored -- a syndrome called post-slavery stress. there is a book out on that. what is her name? i cannot remember her name. ok, i cannot hear it. violence as a public health issue -- this includes domestic
violence, street violence, and institutional violence. chronic disease. environmental challenges. and that there were a full range of treatment modalities within our community. finally, the question we asked was this -- what is the collective vision for our city that we all share and what? who is leading in an effort to craft this vision? who is included in the discussion? supervisor cohen: thank you. [applause] ok, our final words will come from the executive director for the bayview hunters point multipurpose senior center. she will talk about highlights from hsa. >> good evening. what we talked about in general was the concern that the aging population is increasing rapidly in san francisco and how was the aging network going to survive all of these budget cuts, given all the cuts we have
had thus far? i would say in comparison to the previous groups, we spent a lot of time talking about, "we have been cut." then there, done that. then cut many times and have a lot of experience trying to figure out what to do. our particular departments have always done their 10%. what we came up with was other departments do not, and it is not fair that some of the departments get away without getting their 10% cuts, and year after year, department on aging and other departments have to come up with their 10%. there was a fairness issue that came up in our group, and a lot of it was around changes to pension reform and health benefits. our staff do not have pensions at all, and they always contribute to their health benefits. everybody has to take a hit, then everybody takes a hit. that really was a prevalent theme in our group, but we also talked about creativity and how we can get other sources of funding